Postal Service Continues Its Long Tradition of Honoring Black Educators

Since 1978 the United States Postal Service has honored an African-American historical figure by placing his or her image on a stamp. So far the Black Heritage stamp collection has honored 32 individuals and many of them have been educators. Past honorees have included W.E.B. Du Bois, Percy Julian, Carter G. Woodson, and Ernest Just.

This year’s honoree is Anna Julia Cooper. Cooper lived for 105 years. She was one of only a handful of African Americans who survived slavery, emancipation, as well as the civil rights movement of the 1960s. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Oberlin College. In 1925, at the age of 67, Cooper earned a Ph.D. at the Sorbonne.

During her long career in education, Cooper served as principal at what later became Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C. She also taught at Wilberforce University in Ohio and Lincoln University in Missouri. For a brief time Cooper served as president of the now defunct Frelinghuysen University in Washington, D.C.